Am I right in assuming that with Steve Nash, this is the NBA series that most Canadians care about -- the ones who aren't watching hockey, that is, or awaiting the latest medical updates from the Jays mound, or still moaning about Vince Carter?
|Clippers tie it up, Sam is happy.|
What happened? Sam Cassell's first quarter: 13 points, five assists and a 16-point lead. Their guards posted up (and abused) their Suns opposites. Elton Brand's game: he's now 28 for 38 from the floor in the first two games of the series. When the Clippers didn't hit shots, they were getting second chances, with a 57-26 edge in rebounds. On that note, here's ESPN.com's John Hollinger:
Break down that first half a little closer and you'll see how important the boards were.
The Clips had 15 offensive boards to the Suns' two, and as a result they took 14 more shots than the Suns in the half. L.A. didn't shoot better or get to the line more, but because the Clippers had so many more chances they ended up with a 14-point lead at the break.
Defensively the Clippers jumped out and trapped Nash on those screen and rolls that were so effective in Game 1. They paid more attention to Boris Diaw, and he wasn't a factor. They didn't squander their early advantage in free throws like in Game 1, able to avoid fouling against the quicker Suns. Their rotations were crisp and smart, and they were up 20-6 before Phoenix had a chance to peel them off their chests. They never did.
Apparently the Clips did a lot of film work, and it really showed in their defence. Going home with a split after a comprehensive W is golden for them. As for what the Suns could use now, a big body would be nice -- what about all that talk a couple days back about Kurt Thomas coming back? If it isn't time now, it may never be.
Related: Clipperblog: "If the Clips don't use Kaman to abuse Phoenix inside in some form or fashion, then there's really no reason for him to be on the floor. Tonight, they put Kaman to work, and it paid off."
Yawn. Another blowout in the east. Now can these guys please settle down and play the series?